The Socialist Party is a political formation whose primary mandate is to promote socialist values in Zambian society.
Justice, equity and peace for all, in all spheres of social, economic and political life.
An equitable, inclusive, tolerant and peaceful society that strives for a dignified life for all.
The democratic and equitable participation of Zambians in political and economic life.
A healthy, comfortable, safe and optimistic society.
Following a protracted registration process spanning over a year, the Socialist Party was finally registered on the 16th of November, 2017. The Socialist Party has since embarked upon a concerted campaign to recruit members from all corners of the country. The birth of the Socialist Party in Zambia is a direct response to strong and clear calls from people of varied and diverse backgrounds across the country to chart a course out of the poverty and harsh conditions the capitalist orientation of the country has created. The coming of the Socialist Party on Zambia’s political scene marks a significant shift in the country’s political landscape. The people of Zambia now have an opportunity to understand that their precarious and difficult situation is not due to bad luck or chance, it is due to the nature of the class structure of Zambian society, and the country’s unequal footing in global economic and political relations. They will begin to grasp the fundamental and practical differences between capitalism which has held the region hostage for over 500 years and socialism as a liberating tool from oppression and exploitation.
It is common knowledge that under the current neo-liberal capitalist order, the masses of our people have been consigned to the most inferior forms of human existence. Ever since Zambia began to implement the privatization policies under the support and supervision of the IMF and World Bank, the country has experienced a dramatic drop in employment opportunities, and conditions both in the public and private sectors effectively making the majority of our population destitute. As a result, according to the 2016 Living Conditions Monitoring Survey 54.4% of the population has been rendered poor, and a further 40.8% has been pushed into extremely unpleasant living conditions. We ought to realise that the system that we have blindly glorified so much has never been and shall never ever be a system that will emancipate the poor from want. It is a system that has argued for poor people to go hungry and lose their land for the sake of concentrating wealth in the hands of a few. It is a system that has used debt to extort the poor, making them pay for health and education when they have no jobs. Capitalism is inherently a corrupt system that thrives on greed and exploitation of the masses to benefit a few.
Anchored on the principles of Justice, Equity and Peace, the Socialist Party shall tenaciously pursue policies that will equalise the material living conditions of our people, and restore their dignity. Founded on the premises of Marxist-Leninist ideology, the Socialist Party is poised to become the catalyst of change, renewal and hope for the many people of Zambia who have been driven into destitution through cutthroat greed, unbridled competition and self-interest perpetrated by the ruling elite. Socialism is the transformative tool with which we will use to emancipate our country poor from the fetters of political, economic and social servitude. We plan to show that it is possible to organize our economic system democratically and equitably. To achieve this, the party is engaging its members, supporters and sympathizers in a learning process that aims to expand their political awareness and their understanding of the workings of the current capitalist system. It is sharing and demonstrating how a socialist organization of society can work for the Zambian context and for its people. We have no doubt that the end product of these efforts will be a party membership that is solidly grounded to radically change Zambia to become an equitable, just and thus more peaceful society.
We are calling on the Zambian working class, in all sectors of work, the peasant farmers, the students, the academics and the progressive people of our land to join us in the struggle to make Zambia an equitable society and end all forms of oppression.
In government, the Socialist Party will in its first phase of governing focus its socialist transformation of Zambian society in three key sectors, namely; Education, Agriculture and Health.
The Socialist Party recognizes that education is the most valuable and transformative tool for persons and society. To this end it shall ensure that this sector is public and accessible to all. It will commit no less than 20% of national resources on education in order to build the skills and social human capital needed for a progressive future Zambia. Our educational system should be able to deliver educational opportunities to all from kindergarten, through to primary, secondary and tertiary levels. The Socialist Party believes that the progress of nations today is shaped more by the brain power of its people than for example, mineral resources alone.
In order to compete effectively at international levels, the educational system must produce students with the skills equal to the best skills in the world. Under the current capitalist our educational system has been geared to produce skills to serve the narrow interests of capital. Conversely, under socialism, education will be a common good serving as a transformative tool for all humanity and one that creates the collective capacity to resolve the problems of our locality.
It is known with certainty that under the forces of neo-liberal capitalism, the social sector is usually the primary victim of neglect and our health system is no exception. The entire health system in Zambia has been severely harmed by the pervasive effects of capitalism and the irrational logics of austerity cuts to necessary social institutions like healthcare. While our leaders seek recourse to foreign medical services even for simple ailments, the great majority of our people die from treatable diseases as they grapple daily with the financially distressed health system. In terms of malnutrition, the most recent Zambia Demographic and Health Survey carried out in 2013/14, revealed that 40% of children under the age of five were stunted. At this rate, Zambia’s malnutrition levels are among the highest in the world. This grim reality is further underlined by the 2015 Global Hunger Report that ranks Zambia at 41.1% placing the country among the three highest rates of hunger in Africa and in the world. This is unacceptable for a country that has been independent for over fifty years and endowed with massive natural resources. The provision of primary healthcare services to all our people will be the prime concern of the Socialist Party.
One area of crucial concern under the public health sector is the issue of water and sanitation. A UNICEF water and sanitation report of 2015 highlights what many Zambians experience, more than one third of the population does not have access to clean water and more than half lacks access to proper sanitation facilities. Not having access to clean and safe water has led to avoidable diseases like diarrhoea and cholera, among others. Recently Lusaka and other towns have been experiencing serious health challenges arising from poor sanitation facilities and a lack of safe drinking water. The Socialist Party shares the view that the failure by successive governments to build adequate water reticulation infrastructure is one of the factors that has compromised the public health system in Zambia. The failure to provide safe and clean drinking water to the majority of our people in both urban and rural areas coupled with the failure to build modern and decent sanitation facilities is not only a serious dereliction of duty but it is also a betrayal of the Zambian people by their leadership. It is unacceptable that in this day and age, the majority of our people are still using pit latrines to answer the call of nature in congested urban settings.
Despite the evident increases in gross domestic product (GDP) in Zambia, a Food and Agriculture Organisation report of 2014 estimates that 48.3% of ordinary Zambians are malnourished. The ramifications of such widespread malnutrition of course spread all through society. Food security at the household level continues to be a challenge in Zambia despite the country’s huge potential for food production. The Socialist Party is alive to the fact that if a country cannot produce its own food, then that country is living dangerously. Expanding meaningful support to peasant or small scale agriculture is thus core to the efforts we will be making. In addition to expanding financing to small-scale farmers for meaningful inputs like irrigation systems that will allow them to grow crops outside of the rainy season, we will invest in supporting infrastructure. This would include water reservoirs, dry and cold storage facilities, feeder roads and energy infrastructure to allow for agro-processing. To ensure equitable access to these investments significant effort will be made to support cooperative arrangements, also for marketing. In addition, we will aim to expand veterinary services to peasant farmers as a public good to prevent unnecessary losses to livestock by the poor. Our aim is to create better coordination amongst peasant farmers and cut out the middle men who exploit the difficulties small scale farmers have getting their goods to market.
Linking in to our commitment to education, we will commit to research and innovation in the agricultural sector to increase and improve the quality of agricultural produce in an ecologically sustainable way. Some of the key interventions that the Socialist Party will initiate are to ensure that environmental concerns are addressed, dams and feeder roads are constructed among other things. There is need also to ensure that marketing arrangements are well organized through cooperatives. This way, Zambia will become the regional centre for food production. We believe that tnterventions that can help Zambia’s agricultural sector to contribute to poverty reduction and the eradication of hunger and malnutrition deserve more attention. We aim to make Zambia as a regional centre for food production and innovation.
For far too long the people of Zambia have been held hostage to a predatory system of capitalism, a system that fundamentally survives on the expropriation of the surplus value created by the workers. We need as a people to begin to disabuse ourselves of the notion that capitalism will bring order out of the chaos it has created. It is a fact that Zambian politics have become highly opportunist. Unless and until we rise together with one definitive purpose to abolish the oppressive system, we will continue to be ruled by a parasitic petty bourgeois class. Together we need to combat capitalisms excesses by showing that alternatives to it exist, and that this alternative, Socialism can bring about a just, equitable and peaceful Zambia for the masses of our people.